Butte Man Found Guilty of Killing His Father

Jury deliberated for about 11 hours on Thursday before finding Adam Hatfield guilty of deliberate homicide

By Molly Priddy

BUTTE — A 25-year-old Butte man has been found guilty of killing his father in November 2008.

The Butte-Silver Bow County jury deliberated for about 11 hours on Thursday before finding Adam Hatfield guilty of deliberate homicide in the death of Matt Hatfield, 49.

His first trial in April 2015 ended with a hung jury after three days of deliberations.

Prosecutors presented jurors with evidence that Matt Hatfield was beaten with a baseball bat in a cabin south of Butte that he shared with his then 18-year-old son, who then disposed of the body.

Deputy County Attorney Michael Clague reminded jurors that bloodied drag marks were found on the floor of the cabin and in the bed of Matt Hatfield’s pickup.

“You saw the lonely road where Matt Hatfield is finally laid to rest, but you never saw the rest of his body,” Clague said. He reminded jurors that Adam Hatfield directed law enforcement away from the “true road” that led them to the discovery of Matt Hatfield’s skull.

The skull was found by a research scientist in October 2010. State crime lab experts testified that the DNA from the skull matched blood on the wall of the cabin and on a baseball bat found outside the cabin.

Adam Hatfield gave tearful testimony Wednesday saying he did not kill his father, but he did acknowledge that after his father went missing he sold gold coins that belonged to his father and partied. His mother, Catherine Harrington, earlier testified for the prosecution, saying her son was deceptive and had a penchant for stealing.

During closing arguments, defense attorney David Vicevich said the case wasn’t about theft, it was about homicide. He argued the state did not prove its case because it did not test the handle of the bat for fingerprints, leaving reasonable doubt.

Adam Hatfield has been jailed since his February 2014 arrest in South Dakota.

District Judge Kurt Krueger did not immediately set a sentencing date.

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